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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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The Solar Eclipse is Coming on August 21st!

A total solar eclipse to cover the USA from coast to coast hasn’t occurred since 1918, and one to exclusively occur only over the United States hasn’t happened since Revolutionary War days (1776). However, that will change on August 21st. On that day, the moon will block out the sun leaving what scientists call a “diamond ring” remaining. The entire solar event will last just three minutes. Since I wasn’t around in 1918, it will be an amazing scientific event to witness (on television news) as I will not be in the path of the eclipse where I live in Upstate New York!

Did you Know?

  1. The moon is actually 400 times smaller than the sun? Since the sun is about 400 times farther away, the moon will be able to “cover” the sun during the eclipse.
  2. Scientists say that animals may react strangely to an eclipse. Night creatures may be more active and day creatures may think it’s time to go to sleep.
  3. Columbus used a lunar eclipse in 1504 to get the native people on the island of Jamaica to give he and his crew food.
  4. The average speed of the moon crossing the USA is about 1,651 mph (two times faster than a supersonic jet).
  5. The next total solar eclipse will be in 2024.
  6. The first to see the total solar eclipse, if the weather cooperates, will be the coast of Oregon at 10:16 a.m. Charleston, South Carolina will have the eclipse at 2:48 p.m.
  7. The 12 states in the path of the solar eclipse are: South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Georgia, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming.
  8. DO NOT look at the eclipse before or after as it can do eye damage!
  9. A total solar eclipse is rare because you need the Earth, moon, and sun to all be lined up with their orbital paths.

Resources for Teachers

  1. Astronomy for Kids: Lunar and Solar Eclipses
  2. Solar Eclipses for Beginners

Check out my website for teachers and kids.


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